The whole world witnessed yet another thrilling encounter between the two cricketing rivals- India and Australia in a virtual quarter-final match at the IS Bindra Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali last night. The final Group 2 match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 was a do-or-die one for both the set of players as succumbing to defeat would mean elimination from the most coveted tournament of the shortest edition of the sport.
As Australia put up a massive total of 160 runs on the scoreboard, a lot of cricket pundits were backing the Aussies to beat the host nation and secure a semi-final berth against West Indies at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on the 31st of March.
Soon after the run chase began, the ‘Men in Blue’ found themselves in a spot of bother having lost both their openers.
However, it was one man who was enough to steer the Indians to yet another memorable victory at a world event. Virat Kohli- the 27-year-old Delhi boy who had done it time and again for the Indian cricket team wasn't going to shy away from the situation.
They say, “Opportunity makes a man” and Virat Kohli proved that statement absolutely befitting.
As he scored 82 runs off 51 deliveries from a position where India needed another 67 from 36 balls to win the match, he proved the entire world once again why the pundits are already comparing him with the legend, Sachin Tendulkar.
Here is a list of five instances when Virat Kohli single-handedly steered India over the finishing line:
1. India vs. Pakistan (Asia Cup 2012, Bangladesh)
The ‘Men in Blue’ took on their arch-rivals Pakistan in the 5th match of the Asia Cup at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka back in 2012. The Pakistani captain, Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and decided to have a go with the bat first.
The Pakistani openers, Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed were absolutely sensational as the duo put up 224 runs for the opening stand. Pakistan was cruising at 220 runs at the end of 35 overs and it seemed that 350 and possibly even 400+ runs were up for grabs for the ‘Men in Green'.
However, the Indian bowling line-up led by Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan fought back valiantly to restrict the Pakistani batsmen to 329.
The Indian run-chase was off to a dismal start as Gautam Gambhir went back to the pavilion on the very first ball of the second innings. However, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli steadied the ship and added 133 runs on the scoreboard before Saeed Ajmal picked up the prized wicket of the master blaster.
But there was no stopping the current Indian test captain. A calm and composed Virat Kohli literally played with the world famous Pakistani bowling line-up on that fateful day.
The Delhi boy scored 183 runs off just 148 deliveries in the 211 minutes that he was on the pitch. He had hit 22 boundaries and one six, scoring runs at a strike-rate of 123.64.
Although he fell prey to an Umar Gul delivery in the 48th over of the second innings, Virat Kohli made sure that India overcomes its arch-rivals to secure a memorable win at the 2012 Asia Cup.